New OTC counseling tool helps clinicians SMART-en up

Michael Johnsen

In a move that may help drive recommendations of nonprescription medicines, SMARTcare last month announced the creation of a new counseling tool specifically designed to provide retail clinicians with education around over-the-counter medicines for some of the most popular conditions that retail clinicians see.

“Our offering has been built with the professional clinicians and the consumers they see in mind,” Ken DeBaene, chief marketing officer at SMARTcare, told Drug Store News. “As the clinics and the emerging care model structure expand out into other areas, our intent is to make sure that we’ve got educational content for the consumer that the practitioner can use in [his or her] diagnosis and treatment conversations with those patients.”

“Our launch partner was the [Convenient Care Association],” noted Ted Lawless, director of sales at SMARTcare. “We’re still very much in [the] launch phase,” he said, but initial feedback from both clinicians and potential manufacturer sponsors has been extremely positive.

The business model is supported through sponsorships by OTC manufacturers that are then able to reach consumers at the point of care. “The brands benefit from their exposure to healthcare professionals,” DeBaene said. “And the recommendation of their product, along with a purchase incentive, really delivers strong consumer [activity].”

There are five general categories included as part of the SMARTcare offering today, including such respiratory conditions as allergies and cold/flu; such health management as arthritis pain and heart health; such common illnesses as ear infections and heart-burn; such skin conditions as acne and athlete’s foot; and such minor injuries as burns and tick removal.

The Foundation for HealthSMART Consumers, a not-for-profit organization, provides the SMARTcare educational content. The foundation leads a social program to engage healthcare consumers through information and education.

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